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A Moniteau County bridge company has been awarded the construction contract for the first bridge funded by Gov. Mike Parson's Focus on Bridges program.

The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission awarded the contract to E&C Bridge of Jamestown in September. Construction on the project began Nov. 12 in northeast Missouri. The new bridge, replacing the Route JJ bridge over Price's Branch near Bellflower in Montgomery County and estimated at a $516,000 cost for construction, is scheduled to be completed next May.

Under the governor's transportation plan, the Missouri Legislature included $50 million in general revenue in the fiscal year 2020 state budget to repair or replace approximately 45 bridges throughout the state and another $50 million for a cost-share program. Construction contracts have been awarded on 38 of those bridges, and all are to be under contract by the end of the year and completed in 2020.

In the State of the State address in January, Gov. Parson asked the Missouri Legislature to consider a concurrent resolution to fund 250 bridge projects that were already prioritized for repair or replacement in the Missouri Department of Transportation's (MoDOT) Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). The Legislature ultimately compromised on a resolution authorizing MoDOT to bond $301 million to repair or replace 215 bridges, contingent upon the receipt of collateral funding in the form of an Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant.

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